Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala


Chicken Tikka Masala is a traditional Indian dish. It is bursting in flavor. A must-try if you like meals with a character.

Just like the Instant Pot Japanese curry, the Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish made with chicken that is cooked in an incredible curry sauce. The simmering of chicken in the traditional way requires a decent amount of time.

If you decide to make this recipe on in your Instant Pot you will be amazed how fast and simple it is.

The end results are astonishing – melt in your mouth chicken soaked in the best possible spice mix.

You can serve the Instant Pot chicken tikka masala with Naan bread or with jasmine rice. Whatever you choose it will be a good decision.

Which part of the chicken to use?

The easiest is to go with the chicken breast. They are firmer than the other pieces of the chicken and they will keep their shape.

If you do have some skinned and de-boned chicken thighs they can go as well. Just make sure your chicken is cut into equal pieces to ensure even cooking.

Which spices to use?

The traditional Chicken Masala uses various spices…if you cannot find all, try to at least get some garam masala, turmeric, and cumin. These will ensure you get that right flavor. Speaking about ginger, you can use the ground or fresh one.

How to peel the ginger?

The easiest way to peel the ginger is with a spoon. Just scrape it with a spoon. Much Faster than with a knife. Check out this video for full instructions:

Do I need coconut milk?

Yes, you do. The coconut milk gives a nice and subtle flavor and also thickens Chicken Masala. If you have cashew milk, it will also be okay for use. Just do not go with plain milk. You can also, add a 1/4 cup of coconut yogurt to make everything creamier.

Can I use canned tomatoes?

For this Instant Pot chicken tikka masala recipe I have used fresh tomatoes because they give a nice flavor and a bit of texture.

If you want, you can us et he can tomatoes. Just make sure you reduce the broth by 1/4 cup or you will end up with a bit of too much liquid. You can use fore-roasted or can chopped tomatoes.

How to make Chicken Tikka Masala

Gather your ingredients:

Select Saute on your Instant Pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger or ginger powder, and cumin. Cook stirring for 30 seconds in oil.

Add chicken breasts, chicken broth, and tomatoes. You can brown the chicken a bit before adding the broth. Stir well and add rest of the spices.

Lock lid into place and select High Pressure. Cook for 7 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is done, perform a quick pressure release.

Stir in coconut milk.

Simmer on Saute for 5 minutes and stir in lemon juice.

Serve warm.


Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
4.5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken breast, Chicken Tikka Masala, coconut milk
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
  • 2 lb chicken breast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger minced or 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • Turn on the Instant Pot and select sauté.
  • Add garlic, ginger, oil, cumin seeds and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add spices and onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth, chicken breasts and tomatoes and mix a bit.
  • Press Cancel and close the lid.
  • Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
  • When cooking cycle ends, do a quick pressure release.
  • Open the lid, add coconut milk and select sauté.
  • Stir in lemon juice and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

This recipe is part of our 1001 Instant Pot recipes project, a huge collection of free, easy and delicious recipes.

4 thoughts on “Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala

    1. I would do steps 1-3 in a pan on medium heat, remove it from the pan, and then cook the chicken with a little drizzle of olive oil. Add back in the seasoning and onion, the chicken broth, and tomatoes. Let it simmer until the chicken broth has reduced a bit, turn off the heat, and add in the milk. Mix it really well, then add in the lemon juice. Then let it simmer until it thickens up a bit.

      I haven’t tried doing this, so I don’t know if it works or what times you should use. I’ve made a different recipe before and this is the order I did it in. I hope this at least helps to at least give you a place to start from.

  1. No salt in the recipe and it really needs it. But otherwise good. I made it with thighs because that’s what I had and that worked.

    1. I don’t usually list salt as an ingredient, as everyone usually seasons with salt and pepper to taste anyway. Adding a little salt is always a good idea 🙂 glad you liked it!

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